Headstone regulations

In this document ‘incumbent’ means the Vicar or other person responsible for the running of the church. This document is taken from a larger set of regulations by which a parish church is bound, hence the numbering which starts at 10.

Types of headstones which may be permitted in this graveyard by the parish clergy

10. The incumbent has authority to permit the introduction of a headstone which complies with the following requirements.

10.1 Size

  • No more than 1200 mm nor less than 610 mm high (4ft; 2ft)
  • No more than 900 mm nor less than 500 mm wide (3ft; 1 ft 8 in)
  • No more than 150 mm nor less than 75 mm thick (6 in; 3 in)
  • In the case of infant burials, no less than 600 mm x 375 x 50 mm (2 ft x 1 ft 3 in x 2 in)

10.2 Base

A headstone may stand on a stone base, provided that such a base is an integral part of the design and does not project more than 102 mm (4 in) beyond the headstone in any direction, except where a receptacle for flowers is provided, in which case this should be flush with the top of he base and may extend 200 mm (8 in) in front of the headstone and provided that it is fixed on a foundation slab of an approved material which itself is fixed flush with the ground and extending 75 mm to 125 mm (3 in to 5 in) all round so that a mower may freely pass over it. Due regard should be paid to the nature of the ground and the problems of settlement.

10.3 Materials

The following stone is permitted:

  • Limestone: Derbyshire; Derbyshire Fossil; Ravensworth.
  • Sandstone: Yorkshire; Derbyshire; Derby Dale; Gloucester/Forest of Dean Serena; Allswick Blue.
  • Slate: Cumberland; Westmoreland; North Lancashire.
  • Granite: Bluehill Grey; Cornish Grey; Cumbrian Grey; Devon Grey; Karin Grey; Indian Grey; New North Grey; South African Dark Grey; Creetown.

10.4 Appearance

Mirror or polished finishe is not permitted, except as expressly permitted in the Garden of Remembrance (see 10.8 below).

10.5 Inscriptions

Phoographs or representations of objects or motifs such as a child’s toy are not permitted nor the use of ‘pet names’. Bronze or ceramic inserts are not to be used. Badges, crests or emblems may be used provided they are seemly and appropriate for the deceased. Any representation will need to be designed so that it may be accurately cut by a skilled craftsman. Masons’ or carpenters’ names, signs or marks may be inscribed on any monument provided their position and appearance are unobtrusive having recard to the monument as a whole. Incised lettering may be painted in gold, silver, matt white, matt black or matt grey. Plastic insert lettering is not permitted.

10.6 Fixture

Regard must be had to health and safety concerns, and to current industry standards for the fixing of monuments safely and securely.

10.7 Crosses

An incumbent may NOT consent to the introduction of a cross. Such monuments require a high standard of design. However, the incumbent may authorise the temporary introduction of a simple wooden cross no more than 24 inches in height to mark a recen burial. Such cross must be removed on the erection of a stone memorial or after a period of 18 months, whichever be the sooner.

10.8 Garden of Remembrance

Memorial stones in the designated area, known as the Garden of Remembrance, are to be 450 mm x 450 mm (18 in x 18 in) and may be flat or desktop shaped allowing for a flower receptacle. Stones in this area (but in no other part of the Graveyard) pay have polished surface.

11 Prohibitions

Seasonal bulbs may be planted in the area of the grave. However, for the avoidance of doubt, the following are not permitted:

  • Kerbs, railings, fencing, chippings, pebbles and similar materials, and free-standing vases. These create difficulty or danger when mowing.
  • Memorials in the shape of vases, hearts, open books.
  • Memorials incorporating ptotographs or portraits.
  • Mementoes, windmills, toys or little animals, solar lamps or similar.
  • The use of ‘pet names’.
  • Artificial flowers.